Eugene juggles college, career

Brianna Eugene is an FSU student with a nail business.
Photo courtesy of Brianna Eugene

Brianna Eugene turned hopelessness into inspiration. A student-entrepreneur at Florida State University, Eugene was initially convinced she was not going to be accepted at FSU. The Miami native felt rejected.

“I didn’t think I was good enough,” Eugene said.

Eugene’s admission process began by going through Florida State’s application process by sending in her portfolio, transcripts and hoping for the best.

But wasn’t confident she would get the job through her application process. She was required to write a personal statement in two days, and after not hearing back from FSU for more than two weeks, she said: “I was kinda worried that it was trash.”

Fortunately for her, she got a call back and was invited to join Florida State through the university’s Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement program for first-generation college students.

In her beginning days at FSU, she quickly realized that she would need a way to make money. She had been doing her own nail designs since she was 10 years old but Eugene said she was hesitant about doing it for others.

“My close friend Theodora Joseph helped a lot with actually starting my business surprisingly,” Eugene said.

Joseph had taken it upon herself to buy a logo for Eugene, a business license and a couple of tools she would need to start. "When you’re in college there are a million other things going on and I knew this would make Brianna happy, it’s what she deserves,” she said.

As a headstrong student, Eugene turned that hopelessness into inspiration. While juggling her  business continues to grow clientele from all over. It quickkly became effortless to Eugene.

According to Marsha Grant, a loyal client and also Eugene’s mother, their motto is “look at life with a new set of lenses and learn to take life’s struggles and use them as motivation for yourself and empower others,” and that's exactly what Eugene did. She took on a secret high-profile client recently who will be published in a fashion magazine and performed exceptionally, according to Grant.

Eugene encourages all black college students to get into their careers and get a step ahead in the best way so that other black students have a better opportunity to be inspired and succeed in whatever they’re trying to do.

“Whatever you’re doing, do it right. They’re not gonna forget your face, they’re not gonna forget what school you're from, and they’re not gonna forget what color you are.”

Eugene motivates students to get ahead in their career paths and perfect their craft so that their work will reflect how great black students really are.